HEIDELBERG TWP., Pa. - It may not have been the most forceful first pitch, but Caitlin Dickey has strength beyond words.
She's nine years old and was diagnosed with brain cancer five years ago. It's been a long battle. But Sunday was a day to celebrate.
Caitlin plays for the Giants with the Miracle League of the Lehigh Valley. At game time, pink and purple balloons circled the field and posters made sure everybody knew the day was festive.
"Caitlin's birthday, her 10th birthday is June 6th," explained mom Meri Dickey. "So we're celebrating all month and we're having fun and making it special for her."
The birthday princess has touched allot of lives. But sadly for this little girl, this may have been her last time at bat.
"She's had radiation, chemo, several surgeries, and this past February she relapsed," shared Meri.
"She was re-diagnosed with grade four glioblastoma," continued dad Jim Dickey. "Which unfortunately is medically incurable."
Each year about 13,400 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer. It's the number one disease killer of kids.
Yet the National Cancer Institute allocates less than 4% of its funds for pediatric cancer research.
While it might not help Caitlin, the Dickey's hope more people will give to help find a cure.
"For half of her life she's been fighting cancer, and we're happy that we were able to enjoy the time that we had with her while she was here," said Jim, holding back tears. "We're just sad that we're losing the battle."
Allentown, PA 18102